I arrived in Madison Thursday night, but didn't hit the party/conference scene until Friday.
Friday: met sandra ruttan. or rather i accosted sandra ruttan. she was heading for the bathroom. i tried unsuccessfully to get her attention. in a panic i stepped in front of her, held up both hands, and said, "STOP!" note to self: try to find a class that teaches social skills.
now Sandra is a law unto herself, totally unique and totally delightful. You might think you know her from her blog, but Sandra must be experienced in person. in the tipping point, Malcolm gladwell talks about social channel capacity. Sandra's social channel capacity is high as hell. She knows everybody. And not only knows everybody, but somehow keeps track of them and actually remembers what is going on in their lives.
Met Bill Cameron. I really wish I'd had a t-shirt made that said Bill's mentor. "Oh, you're Bill's mentor." "Are you Bill Cameron's mentor?" Hehe! I heard this several times. And LOVED hearing it! A group of us had dinner together. Sandra Ruttan, the wonderful and SO FUNNY Julia Buckley, the delightful David Skibbons, Bill, and myself. Then I finally met Robert Gregory Browne who showed up as we were finishing dinner. He was heading for a party at the edgewater. This is the point where Brett Battles appeared and after some regrouping five of us headed to the bar at the edgewater. There was a party, but I can't even remember who was having it!
On the way we saved brett's life, then arrived at the bar. Here we have a confusion of people. I met the lovely Rebecca Drake and more people. And some more people. I finally met Joe Konrath. He and my twin cities pal Chris Everheart sang a couple of duets. That image is now forever embedded in my brain. OWWWWWW!
End of day one....
Day two. OWWWWWW! Headache. Killer headache.
sandra ruttan was hosting audio interviews. At the bar. People came and went. I mainly sat there with a pounding head and slack mouth. Around 3:00 I started feeling human again. Enter Tribe! Woo-hoo! Wearing a suit and tie in preparation for the banquet. Sandra claimed tribe spanked her. He denied it. you decide. Everyone breaks up for evening plans. There is some discussion of getting together again at the lee child party taking place at an irish pub on the square. I will try to make it, but my head is throbbing again.
That evening: Penguin/NAL dinner at the Harvest Restaurant. It ended up being a wonderful evening. Very relaxing, and a nice break from the frantic conference pace. Lee Goldberg was there, and we were able to discuss the naked bookseller with my editor, who surprisingly had never heard of him. Imagine that! Jeff Shelby of First Offender fame was there, along with Murder, She Wrote writer Donald Bain and the delightful Renee Paley-Bain. Everyone stayed for a couple of hours after the dinner. Lovely all the way around.
The party broke at about 10:30 or 11:00. I walked to the pub. It was packed and I decided I'd had enough for the day and headed back to my hotel which was about a mile away. The next morning I got up and went directly to my panel. Met our gracious moderator Nancy Kopp. Minnesota writers Gary Bush, Bobbye Johnson, and Chris Everheart were nice enough to watch my pathetic attempt at trying to string words together. OWWWWWW! As soon as the panel was done it was off to the signing room. I had to leave the signing early to get back to the hotel, grab my luggage, and head for the airport.
Whew. Flight was on time. my daughter picked me up at the airport. i live ten minutes away. we stopped at noodles for dinner and ate outside. Good to be home.